Holloway garden gnome thief strikes for third time

A GRANDMOTHER’S garden that is home to an army of gnomes and the characters from Winnie-the-Pooh has been targeted by ornament thieves for the third time in two months.

The front garden of Leela Kaurr, 50, of Liverpool Road, Holloway, was raided on Friday night by a thief who made off with a much-loved statuette of Disney’s Lion King.

The 50-year-old, who is disabled, has already lost a fairy in recent months – as well as her most prized ornaments, Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men.

Her daughter and carer Elisha Kaurr, 23, said: “My mum’s devastated. The ornaments have a lot of sentimental value because they have been in the family for years. They’re irreplaceable.

“The Bill and Ben had been in the family for a long time and when it disappeared it really got to her. When she found out that someone had taken the Lion King as well, it broke her.”

Young children often stop to marvel at the colourful gnome-packed garden, which is also home to rabbit, dog and frog figurines, while Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore live nestled in the flowerbed.

Elisha says the garden brings a lot of joy to her mother, who suffers from a variety of health issues and is forced to spend most of her time in bed. “They mean a lot to my mum because she loves to see the smiles on the children’s faces,” she said. “It puts a smile on her face to see how people react to them.

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“All the school children round here really love them and even adults will sometimes stop to take pictures. I heard a child walk past today saying ‘where’s the Lion King mummy?’”

The family had taken precautions after the first two thefts, glueing down many of the most treasured items, but had not got round to securing them all.

Elisha has vowed to be more vigilant in future. She said: “We think it’s the same person and we want him to know that next time we will be ready for him. The dog barked in early hours of Saturday morning but we didn’t think he would strike again so we ignored it. Now every time the dog barks we’re going to react.”

An Islington police spokeswoman said: “We have had no reports of thefts of gnomes and therefore are not aware that this is a problem. However, if anyone has a concern about this they should contact their local Safer Neighbourhoods Team who would deal with any issues.”